ticket. But we didn't sell, and so they decided to play it the
other way. The way they are."
"How do you know?" the Captain demanded, "Do you
know for a fact?"
"For a fact! By God, a fact! There's a man over in
Morgansville named Pottle, works in the bank. And he
married a cousin of Sills and he owes Sills money and favours,
and he's been picking up stuff. So Sills got to putting the
screws on him, and now he's scared to death he'll lose his
job, and he will if he don't keep on playing ball The egg-
sucking dog!" Mr Christian spat viciously, then put his
booted foot over the spot and ground his heel.
" Can you believe this fellow?" the Captain asked.
" Hell, I wouldn't trust the bastard as far as I can fling a
Jersey bull by the tail Not if he's playing it his way. But,
by God, he's so yellow you can scare the pee outer him with
a couple of unkind words. And we worked on him last night,
Sills and me "—he leered with a deep satisfaction-—" and by
God, I mean to say we worked on him. When he got in his
buggy long about one o'clock this morning to drive back to
town from Sills' place, he was pale as a man with a three-
weeks spell of summer complaint By God, he was cleaned
" You never can tell," the Captain said slowly, " what's in
a man's mind. You never can."
"Hell, no, and him coming to my house all this winter,
and sitting there talking to me and looking me in the eye,
and talking pretty, and saying, * Now, Bill, now, Bill '—and
knowing all the time how it was with him. Knowing how it
was. How he was gonna sell us out, one way or another.
Knowing it and just feeling it grow inside him. Sitting there
and feeling it grow inside him like a tumour or something.
And looking a man straight in the eye. By God-----" He
stopped breathlessly, the quality of his accustomed violence
coming back to him and Ms face reddening, while he waved
his arms. Then he swung toward Mr. Munn, and said, "And
you, Perse, you swallowing him hook, line, and siaker, by